Ortygia is located at the eastern end of Syracuse and is separated from it by a narrow channel. Two bridges connect the island to mainland Sicily. The island is an extremely popular place for tourism, shopping, entertainment and also a residential area.
Ortygia, being an island just off the coast, was easily transformed into a natural fortress with harbors and was big enough that it could hold a significant population in ancient times. Therefore, the history of Ortygia is synonymous with the early history of Syracuse.
Ortigia (/ɔːrˈtɪdʒiə/; Italian: Ortigia; Greek: Ὀρτυγία) is a small island which is the historical centre of the city of Syracuse, Sicily. The island, also known as Città Vecchia (Old City), contains many historical landmarks. The name originates from the Ancient Greek ortyx (ὄρτυξ), which means “Quail”.